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Late Layup Wins Brewer Golden Ball

With 16 seconds left, Paul Dilworth barreled into Brady Saunders and drew the blocking foul. Dilworth went to the line with a chance to add to a 41-40 Falmouth lead. Dilworth missed both free throws, but Brewer had to call timeout. Brock Flagg tried to get the ball to Saunders but instead found Cameron Hughes alone under the basket for a wide-open layup. Judd Armstrong got a 10-foot floater off but left it short as the Witches won 42-41.

Brewer had won their last two playoff games 153-69 and looked on their way to another big game after opening a 15-5 first-quarter lead. The stingy defense for the Navigators then buckled down as Lucas Dilworth and Judd Armstrong scored 13 combined points to go into the half down 21-18. They did this despite putting the Witches into the bonus at the 4:51 mark in the second quarter.

Falmouth hit the first two baskets of the second half to take their first lead at 23-21. This was part of 14-4 run that saw the Navigators go up 32-25. At the end of the third Eli Cowperthwaite blocked Evan Nadeau’s layup to preserve what looked like a 35-29 lead. Nadeau said something to Cowperthwaite, who responded, and in the teams separating Eli was whistled for a technical. Saunders hit the two free throws before the start of the final quarter.

Coming into the title game Saunders was averaging over 23 points in playoff games and shot over 65% in the regular season, but he only made two field goals on the night. He even air-balled a three with a chance to take the lead with just over 90 seconds left. Flagg and Ryder Goodwin both tied for a team-high 11 points, with Flagg also adding eight rebounds and the game-winning assist.

Paul Dilworth finished with a game-high 15 and Lucas added 14. Armstrong was essential in getting the Navigators back into the game on both sides of the ball but was held to just the seven points he scored in the second quarter. However, they struggled from the free throw line going a combined 5-9.

Falmouth dealt with foul trouble throughout the game, with Lucas even picking up the first two fouls of the game. Both Dilworths had four fouls and had to sit stretches, along with Peyton Mitchell. This totaled in a 14-22 night from the charity stripe for the Witches. The Navigators went to the line 11 times in the final quarter with the lead but only made six. They finished 9-15 on the night.